Tag Archives: London gardens

Sparrows in London

After a few years living in London, the sound of the strong calls of the house sparrows (Passer domesticus L.) becomes as unfamiliar as the sound of the waves in the sea or the silence. The only place where I always heard and watched sparrows is a tiny little park in the heart of the city: Drury Lane WC2B.

It is a small garden with a minuscule recreation ground for children. It hosts a few couples of very active sparrows

Park with House sparrows in London

The sparrows have been there, possibly breeding, at least since 2006, when I joined a company whose offices where nearby. Sometimes, usually when it was sunny no matter which seasons, some colleagues and I used to have lunch there. This spring of 2010 the sparrows where there when I visited the garden once again.

I have no clue about why the sparrows reside in that diminutive green spot in the middle of a city that seemingly offers no other sanctuary to the species in a radius of a few miles. I have not seen sparrows feeding in the surrounding streets nor even near the river by Victory Embankment.

St. Johns Wood Burial Gardens Public Park

There is a delightful little garden in St. Johns Wood, North West London.

St. Johns Wood Church Gardens

One of its boundaries is the noisy Wellington Road, near the glass-covered Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel in London and the Lord’s Cricket ground. The address of the former burial is Wellington Place, Wellington Road, NW8 7PF.

Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel in London views

The St. Johns Wood burial ground dates from 1807. It covered an area of two and a half hectares (six acres). The burial ground was used from until 1855 when the St. Marylebone Cemetery at East Finchley was opened. There are thought to be 50,000 graves here.

For more information about the park, call the City of Westminster council at 020 7641 5271 or check the list of all Parks Gardens and Open Spaces managed by the City of Westminster.

Mill Lane Open Space

The Mill Lane Open Space is a diminutive natural area in West Hampstead. Its narrow entrance does not anticipate the nice surprise that this piece of London nature is. It is in Mill Lane, London Borough of Camden, NW6 1. It is owned by LB Camden.

There are two great things about the space: the pond and a corner with a large pile of logs. They both support a good number of frogs and newts.

We visited the site at the end of May. Some big Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) dominated the dry pond. The plant is native to Britain but cultivated worldwide. In some regions, the flag iris scaped to become an invasive aquatic plant. Its rhizomes make the pest practically impossible to eradicate.

In Mill Lane however, the flower is a very nice feature of the site.